This is an image of Mombasa from a sixteenth-century map created by European cartographers Georg Braun and Franz Hogenberg. Maps of this sort would have been purchased by wealthy collectors interested in distant lands. Mombasa is shown as a large and wealthy city in this map, a testament to the power of the Swahili trade cities that grew and thrived during the era between 1000 and 1500 CE. Like the other important east African trading cities of Mogadishu, Zanzibar, and Kilwa, Mombasa was very important center engaged in trade between the African interior and the Arabic traders in the Indian Ocean. Note the ships in the image, a reflection of the importance of Mombasa as a maritime trading center.